With recent rises in fuel costs and the need for organisations to limit carbon emissions, we’ve seen a huge demand in fitting Air Source Heat Pumps (ASHPs) on our properties. ASHPs convert energy from outside into usable heat for the home, where it can be used to heat radiators and hot water.
Special Project Surveyor Anthony Moye plays a key role in designing and installing ASHPs. Anthony has been at Grand Union more than 15 years, while gaining a degree in Construction Management ‘on the job’. He also makes adaptations to the homes of those with disabilities and long-term conditions, helping them to live independently and safely.
Anthony said: “The best part of my role is seeing the difference we help to make to people’s lives. This includes making life-changing adaptations, enabling people to live independently in their own homes, and adjusting the energy efficiency of our stock, in turn reducing our impact on the environment.”
Tackling the joint issues of fuel poverty and the energy crisis
Due to the high levels of inflation currently, many customers are considering more efficient and affordable ways to heat their homes. In his role, Anthony has the unique position of being able to help tackle both the fuel poverty and energy crises.
“The installation of ASHPs is an add-on to my role, though it’s something I’m having to do more and more, and it’s really rewarding. The rise in fuel costs is giving people a big incentive to switch as, once the ASHP is installed, less fuel will be required to heat their homes. This is because they draw heat from the outside environment.
“I help to map out where heat is being lost in the home and work with contractors to fit the ASHP. Many of our customers live in rural areas, using oil and storage heaters for heating. Storage heaters can be tricky to use, as they need to be turned on overnight to provide heat for the next day. It’s a guessing game to make sure you get the right temperature for the next day, so energy can often be wasted with the property being too hot, or the opposite –too cold. Storage heaters can also affect those with asthma, exacerbating their condition.
“With ASHPs, customers are more in control of their energy use, so less energy is wasted and bills aren’t so high. It’s rewarding to be part of a journey, from designing the ASHPs themselves and planning how they will fit into homes, to installing them and hearing how they have helped our customers manage their bills.
“The benefits don’t end there; ASHPs will enable our housing stock to be heated with zero emissions once renewables become the only source of generating electricity.”
Going forward, ASHPs will play an important role in achieving Grand Union’s aim to become net carbon zero by 2050, a key milestone outlined in our Environmental Sustainability Strategy. They will also help us in our target to ensure all our stock is a minimum of EPC band C by 2028.
Making a difference
Another key aspect of Anthony’s role is making adaptations to customers’ homes. Specifically, he works with Occupational Therapists to design and implement accessibility changes to help those living with disabilities and conditions, such as reduced mobility.
“It’s very special to know that the work I am doing helps to make people’s lives a great deal easier. Once I receive a referral, I help to design adaptations, such as changing the layout of the home to make sure there is a bedroom and bathroom on the ground floor. By working alongside local councils, who offer grants, we’re able to deliver changes that will help people live with independence.
“I enjoy using a special computer programme, AutoCad, which allows me to draw-up floor plans and design changes. Working out how to adapt a property to suit someone’s needs is like solving a jigsaw puzzle and it’s wonderful to see the difference the changes make to people’s lives.”
Growing with Grand Union
Anthony’s been at Grand Union since the start of his career, having joined as a Trainee Project Manager. He’s made use of the training opportunities we offer, enabling him to develop his career.
“When I started at Grand Union, it was my first role in housing, so I was always keen to learn more. I was very fortunate that Grand Union paid for my degree in Construction Management, which I completed at London South Bank University.
“It was a one-day a week course, so took me five years to complete, but I’m very proud that I’ve recently graduated. This gave me the experience I needed to thrive in my current role.”